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“Hello, Liz! May I come in?” North Carolinian origins warmed her voice as she pulled open the screen door and stepped inside. “We meet again,” she said, smiling and extending her slim hand toward mine. “From what you shared on the phone, you’ve come a long way—More settled with the lower dose of Dexamethasone.” It was Eunice, the hospice chaplain. She was so right. The steroid had tripped Swiss-cheese brain and runoff of my mouth, both messing with our first visit.

“Yes, thanks, I’m much better.” She looked so serene, settling into her chair and crossing her feet.

“I gathered as much from reading your blog—a window into your world.”

Her willowy appearance exuded simplicity: a single gold band on her left hand, her only adornment; her brunette hair caught in a ponytail; her lavender long-sleeved shirt downplayed any vestiges of drama. She was simply herself.

“It helps slow down what’s happening—Ever since I retired from hospice, I’ve been preparing for this critical time—My patients taught me lots.” I still cherished the memories and loved to tell their stories.

“That explains your readiness to participate in this process. Most patients are still reeling from their doctors’ decision to stop treatments.” I, too, had had that experience.

Then, I said, breathing deeply, “Let me share more fully how I got here—It’ll help to hear myself speak.”

Beneath rimless glasses, her dove-like eyes began tracking each word that brimmed from my fullness. Instantly, we were in seamless dialogue, our inner worlds playing off each other. On her spiritual path, too, she was a seasoned explorer.

 

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